TUC DERA ESCALATA
Contributed by David Sellars
Round trip: 8 km
Start elevation: 1896 m
Final Elevation: 2777 m
Maps: 1:25,000 Aneto Maladeta E 25 Editorial Alpina
From Benasque take the road to Hospital de Benasque and take the bus to La Besurta.
PARTIAL PLANT LIST
This route traverses the beautiful Vall de Benas and crosses the Pyrenean divide at Port dera Picada. From the bus termimus at La Besurta, follow the trail to Ibon de Villameurta through meadows of Erythronium dens-canis (in seed on July 6, 2007). Turn northwest across the slope above La Bersurta through lovely meadows of Asphodelus albus and Viola cornuta. The trail can then be followed up to the Port de Picada which is the high point on the route.
From the pass drop down though a shallow valley and explore the limestone outcrop to the right of the path. Saxifraga caesia and Arenaria purpurascens can be found among the limestone rocks together with Dryas octopetala and Daphne cneorum. The path then follows a rock ledge up to the border with France and easy grassy slopes lead to the summit of Tuc dera Escaleta.
Interesting plants that can be seen along the rock ledge include Veronica fruticans and Linaria alpina. Retracing the route to Port dera Picada the trail, S-23 is then followed to Cllots del Puerto. Limestone outcrops occur along this route worth exploring for flowers. The path then drops down to the valley in a dramatic route over a limestone cliff, Pena Bllanca. Arenaria tetraquetra can be found here with Androsace villosa and Arenaria purpurascens. The path leads back to the Hospital de Benasque and the car park at the bus stop at